Seven men with extensive experience in the publishing and broadcasting industries submitted an amicus brief supporting the local churches’ request to the Texas Supreme Court to review the Court of Appeals decision in The Local Church et al v. Harvest House et al. The brief said that granting review would allow the court to strike the right balance between First Amendment rights and “the right of religious organizations to be free of unsubstantiated denigration of their reputations.” It also argued that publishers of books on religion should be held to the same standards of defamation and that Christian and secular organizations should enjoy the same protections when falsely accused of criminal or abhorrent conduct.
The signers of the brief were:
- Robert Oppedisano, Director, Fordham Press;
- John Van Diest, founder and former publisher of Multnomah Press and Associate Publisher for Tyndale House Publishers;
- Doug Ross, co-founder and former President of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association [Note: Doug Ross later removed his signature out of respect for Bob Hawkins, Sr.]
- Sealy Yates, literary agent for Christian publishing and former general counsel for Evangelical Christian Publishers Association
- Jon Yinger, President of The Christian Broadcasting System;
- Peter Kerridge, Chief Executive of Premier Media Group;
- John Pierce, President of Paragon Advertising & Communications, Inc.